What are your dreams for your life? This is not an easy question to ask ourselves. Often times we are even scared to ask ourselves this question. Additionally, we may not ask ourselves what our dreams are because the idea of achieving our dreams seems like a fantasy or something only reserved for a chosen few who get lucky. Other times, we may become scared to ask ourselves what our dreams are because we may did not achieve them in the past or failed at previous life goals. In some sense, following our dreams after failure can be a painful way to live our lives because we know in our hearts that we really do want something, and it hurts when we fall short of it. Paulo Coelho describes this process of following our dreams in the introduction to The Alchemist when he writes:
“We who fight for our dream suffer far more when it doesn’t work out, because we can not fall back on the old excuse: ‘Oh well, I didn’t really want it anyway.’ We do want it and know that we have staked everything on it and that the path of the personal calling is no easier than any other path, except that our whole heart is in the journey. Then, we warriors of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult times and know that the Universe is conspiring in our favor, even though we may not understand how.
I ask myself: are defeats necessary?
Well, necessary or not, they happen. When we first begin fighting for our dream we have no experience and make many mistakes. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and get up eight times.
So, why is it important to live our personal calling if we are only going to suffer more than other people? Because, once we overcome the defeats – and we always do – we are filled by a greater sense of euphoria and confidence. In the silence of our hearts, we know that we are proving ourselves worthy of the miracle of life. Each day, each hour, is part of the good fight”
This arduous process of following our dreams or even asking ourselves what our dreams are can cause some people to stop listening to their heart and ignore their dreams. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, but it may leave people living a life wondering what may have been if they had chosen to stay true to what makes them feel alive. Additionally, sometimes the failures we encounter before we achieve our dreams give us a greater sense of confidence and joy than we could have ever experienced if it had been easy to achieve our dreams. Following and achieving our dreams can also help us become great leaders. So, have you given up on your dream? Or, does it continue to provide you with a source of purpose, joy and hope for the future. Wherever you are at, I believe your dreams are a sacred missions. We can choose to follow them or put them on the back burner.
One technique you can use to help put you back in touch with your dreams is to literally day dream. Try to give yourself 10-15 minutes a day (or a week at first) to simply imagine or daydream what your life would look like and how you would feel if you achieved your dreams. For some people, walking while you daydream can make it easier. I remember when I started doing this, it was actually really hard for me at times. Some days, I simply dreamed of surviving, just having enough money to pay my bills and a little extra free time on the weekend to relax. However, over time, daydreaming helped me to get back in touch with my dreams and what really would give my life greater meaning and purpose. So, I would encourage you to start a practice of day dreaming today and see where your heart guides you.